Still the best small hatchback you can buy
At a glance
- New price: £13,395 - £22,745
- Used price: £2,275 - £16,130
- Insurance group: 3 - 19 Get quotes
- Drives as well as it looks
- Great value
- Superb ST performance models
- Rear headroom is poor
- Boot could be easier to access
- Cabin is looking dated
It’s testament to the remarkable talents of the Ford Fiesta that despite this generation being launched back in 2008, it’s still the small hatchback to beat, whether you choose an economical diesel, a sprightly petrol or a sporty ST derivative.
Battling it out against an array of talented contenders such as the Hyundai i20, Kia Rio, Mazda 2, Peugeot 208, Renault Clio, SEAT Ibiza, Skoda Fabia, Suzuki Swift, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo, among many others, there’s a Fiesta to suit virtually every need and budget.
Mid-life refresh in 2012
After four years on the market, Ford gave the Fiesta a makeover. Despite being few in number, the changes made a significant visual impact, especially at the front, with a corporate hexagonal grille – with a whiff of Aston Martin about it – and tweaked lights front and rear; various models featured LEDs for the first time.
Inside, the SYNC voice-activated multimedia system made an appearance, along with Active City Stop – Ford’s autonomous emergency braking system designed to prevent low-speed accidents.
The Fiesta also became the first Ford car in Europe to feature MyKey, a system that allows parents of teenage drivers to limit both the car’s speed and the volume of its audio system. It’ll even mute the stereo if a driver’s seatbelt isn’t worn.
Each driver has a key which is programmed to tell the car to initiate or switch off various safety systems as required. This has the potential to not only keep younger drivers safe but to also prevent them from causing unnecessary noise pollution.
Vast choice of trim levels
Most Fiestas are available with three- or five-door bodies, each offering the same amount of passenger and boot volume. Compared with newer rivals, the Fiesta’s a little tight space-wise, particularly in the back, and the boot opening isn’t as wide or as low as many competitors, either.
Since 2008 there have been over 25 different Fiesta derivatives, including a plethora of limited editions, but the current range has been (slightly) consolidated to make it easier to choose the one best suited to you.
Presently the line-up comprises of Zetec, Zetec Colour Editions, Titanium, Titanium X, ST-Line, ST-Line Black and Red Editions, ST-1, ST-2, ST-3 and the ST200, the number reflecting its power output. Studio and Style trims were dropped in summer 2016 following the arrival of the smaller Ford Ka+.
All current models come with electric front windows and mirrors, a CD player, tinted glass, remote central locking and air-con.
Wide array of engines available
There’s a wide selection of petrol and diesel engines to pick from, many of which are turbocharged to boost efficiency as well as performance.
We’d recommend staying away from the sluggish 1.25-litre petrols – the 60hp version of which is the slowest in the range – and instead opt for one of the zesty three-cylinder 1.0-litre units, ideally in turbocharged EcoBoost form with between 100hp and 140hp.
If you cover long distances regularly, then one of the diesel-engined Fiestas may suit your needs better. All are turbocharged 1.5-litre motors, producing either 75hp or 95hp depending on the version chosen. There’s also an efficiency-focused Econetic option, boasting claims of 88.3mpg and CO2 emissions of just 82g/km.
Sporty Fiesta ST sates enthusiasts
The primary thing you need to know about the Ford Fiesta ST is that each variant is an absolute joy to drive. They’re fast, agile and best of all, a lot of fun to pilot.
Introduced in 2013, ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3 derivatives are powered by a 182hp 1.6-litre turbo engine, propelling the Fiesta up to 139mph and completing the 0-62mph dash in 6.9 seconds, yet it still returns a claimed 47.9mpg.
Fiesta STs are easy to spot compared with less-powerful models in the range thanks to a suitably aggressive bodykit, a rear wing and a deeper front grille finished with a black mesh insert.
Ford raised the stakes further in 2016 with the introduction of the Fiesta ST200 – as the number suggests, this range-topper packed 200hp, enough to reach 142mph.